Stories about: Mental Health

Please don’t judge: Supporting a friend whose child has a mental health condition

Larson family holding hands and jumping
Shannon Larson and her family (photo courtesy of Jennifer Shore Photography)

When my children were younger, I was always able to help them maneuver the difficulties of growing up. If it was their fear of going to school, attending playdates or being hesitant of trying a new activity, I was there to cheer them on, nudge when needed and assure them that everything would be okay.

But as both of my children entered their teenage years, their anxiety and fears became more pronounced and debilitating, manifesting in panic attacks and depression. As a parent, I understood that my children would need more than just my reassuring words, which eventually led me to Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry for their care. Over time, my children began to thrive once again. And in the meantime, our family learned a few lessons along the way that I would like to share.

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

5 things parents should know about eating disorders

Dr. Sara Formandirector of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Outpatient Eating Disorders Program and Dr. Tracy Richmonddirector of the PREP weight management program in Adolescent Medicine, share five things parents should know about eating disorders.

Kids don’t have to be really thin to have an eating disorder.

Not everyone with an eating disorder looks like he or she has an eating disorder. The condition is often hidden in secret habits or obsessions. For example, binge eating and bulimia — or binging and purging — are common eating disorders not necessarily associated with thinness.

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

6 questions answered about anxiety in children and teens

Focus on anxietyBetween school and social demands, lots of children feel stress, but at what point does anxiety cross the line and become a mental health concern? We sat down with Keneisha Sinclair-McBride, PhD, a clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s, to better understand what separates serious forms of anxiety from normal worrying, whether seeing a therapist is warranted and how to handle anxiety at home.

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

Is your teen depressed? Seven tips for parents

Your daughter comes home from school, slams down her books and retreats to her room with a scowl. Since starting high school, you’ve noticed she’s been moody and irritable and her grades are starting to suffer. Should you be worried about depression?

“Almost everyone goes through periods of feeling sad or irritable for usually brief periods of time,” says Dr. Oscar Bukstein, associate psychiatrist-in-chief and vice chairman of psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital. “What sets depression apart is the presence of distress or impairment that interferes with daily life.”

Bukstein says he’s seen a steady rise in depression in young people over the past 25 years, as the stress of daily life increases. “The good news is that treatment generally works and more kids are seeking treatment.”

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment